xmascard 09: credits, comments, ani and bob news for
Ani studied Italian at Villanova spring and fall semesters 2009, and a
month at bob's language school
DiLit.com in Rome (30 years earlier! with
Ursula! still there in the administration) in June while we spent a delightful
2.5 months living in Rome with a forced side trip to Paris for the meeting
MG12 bob helped organize, also a pleasure. We enjoyed the discovery of
neighborhood supermarkets and their products, and the incredibly cheap but
good wine 3 to 4 bucks a bottle!
Back at home, we were finally freed from the monopoly cable TV/internet provider
Comcast when its equally evil competitor Verizon attacked with its sexy FIOS (fiber optics service)
very effective TV ads about a clueless cable guy sparring with the obviously superior FIOS guy, after
digging up our hill to install the fiber optics. The deal breaker was the Italian channel
which Comcast appeared totally uninterested in providing us (along with any
ethnic programming except some Spanish channels), plus the big price break on our total communication package:
land line phone, 4 cell phone family plan, internet service and HD TV service.
We bravely switched December 1. Of course, there is a lot of crap on Italian
TV too, where Berlusconi gathered his political power. We got service just
in time to see the coverage of his face bashing and political debate about
it. Meanwhile there are only a handful of Marcello Mastroianni films
available in this country!
Meanwhile Congress can't seem to cooperate on anything thanks to the Republican "Just Say No" stance,
and while the US ignored Kyoto, China sabotaged a real climate change agreement in Copenhagen
this holiday season.
More death and destruction will follow in Afganistan with the Obama escalation.
Meanwhile Gaza is still prevented from rebuilding after the massive Israeli attack on the population
over two years ago, no materials of any kind needed to rebuild (like the 4000 homes they reduced to rubble for example)
are permitted to cross the border, a cruel form of collective punishment that the world continues to ignore,
and which will in the end undo Israel itself after 60 years of increasing violence against the Palestinians that
has only made matters worse. Daily death continues in Iraq.
Jobs are disappearing in the US, the global economy is a mess, poverty is
increasing, ironically while wealth continues to concentrate itself at the
top of the food chain. Health care is an increasingly big problem for
Americans, but the Democrats have delivered us little people some crumbs for
Christmas with their watered down bill they had to ram over total Republican
opposition. We've been lucky so far. Bob's rotator cuff situation that
started upon arrival in Rome in June 2008 evolved through therapy, an
operation, more therapy and although still not normal, at least is reduced to a
minor occasional annoyance. The frozen shoulder bob got upon arrival in Rome
June 2009 fortunately did not require further paid therapy because the quota
had been reached in May, but at least Nicole showed him what exercises to do
to improve it. A few months later, things are much better and maybe in
another few months it will also be less noticeable.
The pressure was on this year on top of the normal stress levels. For the
Santa-deer-TV sketch, the debating pigs were
photographed at an angle to print and re-sketch for the TV screen from
page 2 of xmas99 when Who Wants to be a
Millionaire? started the wave of game TV for idiots. Emboldened by this
act of self-plagiarism, bob does the wide screen TV dilemma and then steals
the side characters from page 1 of xmas06.
bob and ani at the math dept Christmas party, Joyce
always takes photos, bob lacks the courage to pull his point and shoot out
of his pocket. Then our Roman moonlit dinner under the gazebo in full bloom
overlooking a quaint little upscale piazza well connected to places in Rome
we wanted to go. Piazza Crati, which bob recognized from decades earlier
visits to his friend Daniele, many of whose kids now live in the immediate
vicinity now too. How fast they grow up. Lunch with the Bini family in
Sabaudia south of Rome near the beach is a long tradition; they have adopted
us and we are so lucky to be a part of their extended family. The usual
Paris icon poses of course. We were lucky to be there with many Italian
friends. And finally nephew and niece Kyle and Lenna made their
international unaccompanied minor traveling debut, visiting us for 10 days that seemed
way too long before they arrived, but way too short once they did. We had a
wonderful and once in a lifetime experience together, doing Rome, Florence, Padova, Venice, Sabaudia, Naples, Pompei, and Santa Marinella during the hot
August heat that somehow we survived. All documented on-line in 5 Facebook
albums at bob's site. Finally we did our second
black tie dinner in November, what a treat, a terrific speaker,
as last year.
Ken Miller was the lead witness in the Dover PA evolution trial a few
years back, when our christmas theme was evolution
Like last year, so many people took a hit this year all over
the world, there should have been some, but where to start? Jim Brooks from
our Math Department for one.
- The color of the paper this year was orchid. This annual enterprise was
sent out to over 500 recipients all over the world. The cost keeps rising. 320
for stamps, 120 for Fedex copying (Kinko's is now history), 35 for the 520
#10, left window QuickStrip envelopes, labels maybe 20. Total pushing 500
bucks. dr bob enterprises. gladly losing money for touching people who have
This is for later...
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